MT. PLEASANT — No. 6 Pella showed why they were a top-10 team in 3A on Friday night in Mt. Pleasant’s home opener. The visiting Dutch outscored the Panthers 21-0 in the second half to run away with a 55-20 victory.
Mt. Pleasant had it going early. Brody Bender hit Rylan Seberg with a 39-yard pass on the opening drive, and that led to a three-yard touchdown run by Jack Johnson to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead early.
Pella marched right down to tie the game at 7-7. Mt. Pleasant looked like they’d punch right back when Chase Williamson caught a long pass down to the one-yard line on the very next drive, but a goal line fumble led to a 95-yard touchdown drive, which gave the Dutch a 14-7 lead early in the second.
Mt. Pleasant hung with Pella in the second quarter. Brennen Bender caught a 14-yard touchdown pass and Brevin Wilson caught a 13-yard touchdown pass. Pella led 34-20 at halftime.
The Panthers had the ball in Pella territory after a Dutch punt early in the third, but an interception ended the drive, and Mt. Pleasant went cold from that point forward.
The Dutch picked up most of their yards on outside runs. Aaron Downs went for 135 yards and four touchdowns before getting hurt right before halftime.
“Credit to Pella. They have a great offensive line and great schemes that we were having trouble with,” said Mt. Pleasant head coach Shawn Striegel. “Our kids got warn out, and we couldn’t defend that play ... but in the end, we tackled very poorly, and that is something we have to fix.”
Bender had a nice game despite the loss. He went 13-28 for 202 yardss, two touchdowns and an interception. Seberg finished with 97 yards receiving. Williamson had 52.
Bass led the team on the ground. He ran for 102 yards on the night, and Jack Johnson went for 46 yards and a score.
Keegan Kohorst led the Panther defense with 6.5 tackles in the loss. Mt. Pleasant was unable to force any turnovers.
The Panthers are now 1-1. They’ll play at Central Lee next week.